The Greatest has become our

The Greatest has become our mute, iconic, bloated Buddha. The man with the fastest hands and legs in sports now moves as slowly as though he were under water. The wittiest athlete now whispers inaudibly. His body is ravaged by Parkinson's, a disease that is degenerative and will never get better. Watching Ali on a dais being lovingly fed by his wife, Lonnie, hurts my heart and makes me question my own fandom, my own complicity in his debilitation. Seeing a tape of his epic fight with Joe Frazier in Manila has become a bittersweet experience for me. While it was happening in 1975, I was drenched with sweat, hoarse from screaming and emotionally spent from the ebb-and-flow drama. But today, seeing the aftereffects on both men has made the greatest fight I ever saw no longer such a powerful argument for the sport it once exalted.
Jack Newfield, The Shame of Boxing.

originally posted by xowie

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